Green Bay Packers left tackle Chad Clifton injured his hamstring against the Atlanta Falcons in the second quarter of the Week 5 matchup. After being helped off the field and carted to the locker room, Clifton did not return to action for the Packers.
On Monday, head coach Mike McCarthy announced at the weekly Monday morning press conference that the Packers would be without their starting left tackle for quite some time.
"Chad suffered a significant hamstring injury in the game last night. It will probably take a couple weeks for us to get our hands around just how significant the injury is. That's where we are at with Chad [Clifton]; he'll be out a number of weeks."
After Clifton went down in a heap, rookie offensive linemen Derek Sherrod was brought into the game to play right tackle as Marshall Newhouse shifted over and filled the vacant spot at left tackle.
The pair of backups got off to a shaky start, committing penalties and getting beaten for quarterback pressures and sacks. Eventually, they were able to pull it together and put in a decent enough performance as they provided Rodgers with enough protection to make throws.
The news is alarming for the unbeaten Packers, but the performance turned in by both backups, and the fact that Bryan Bulaga should return from his knee injury, makes things a little bit easier.
With Clifton out, it is possible that Bulaga may move to the left tackle position and Newhouse would stay at the right tackle position that he has filled since Bulaga was injured.
The Packers have a roster spot to work with, as they still haven't officially put safety Nick Collins on injured reserve. Once the Packers do that, they could bring in an offensive lineman to help combat the injuries that have been suffered.
The Packers will be heavily favored in both games and should take care of business before they get their bye in Week 8. This should provide the Packers with plenty of time to figure out their line before a tough Week 9 game against the San Diego Chargers on the road.
Over last season and the beginning of this year, the Packers have shown they are a team that has the ability to overcome injuries because of their depth. They will be forced to do so again with the injury to Clifton.